Court allows roadside parking at 7 of the proposed 16 sites
The High Court Tuesday directed the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir and the concerned authorities to ensure that 28 identified parking sites are developed promptly after following the due procedure of law.
The court also directed the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, to identify more sites for parking of vehicles in the left out areas of Srinagar city and rural areas.
The directions were passed after a compliance report was submitted by the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir before the court, categorising the parking sites in three categories - existing parking sites, development of new parking slots, and on-road parking at designated sites.
In the first category, the Divisional Commissioner has given the details of six existing parking sites in the report of which four are suggested to be designated as parking slots at Rs 20 per hour and two are required to be designated as day parking slots at Rs 20 and 30 per day.
Similarly, in the second category, 28 sites are reserved to be developed as new parking slots and in the third category, 16 places are sought to be utilized as on-road parking slots.
The court after going through the report remarked to the authorities to continue the re-designation of the parking slots as hourly and day parking slots by ensuring that parking charges were enhanced and regulated after following the codal formalities.
It observed that 28 identified sites in category B of the report for their development as new parking slots leaves many areas of Srinagar city unattended.
The report submitted by the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir has also pointed out that 16 roadside parking slots have been identified to be allowed for use of parking vehicles.
The division bench while taking note of these 16 identified parking slots remarked, “We don’t feel the need to modify the order to the extent of all 16 identified roadside parking, but on consideration we allow the roadside parking at seven places,” the bench said.
The court in this regard directed the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir and District Magistrate, Srinagar to file their compliance by the next date of hearing.
The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir was further directed to implement the directions in all the areas falling under his jurisdiction.
The Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, was directed to take immediate steps for procuring the 50 Digital Time Recording Machines for monitoring of parking intervals.
Another report filed by the Principal Secretary to J&K government’s Transport department, mentioned the role of the Transport Commissioner, and District Magistrates concerned about the issue.
The court in this regard directed the District Magistrate, Srinagar, to file his response in light of the averments taken in the compliance report and steps taken by him for determining the parking places for motor vehicles under Section 117 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
The court also directed the government counsel to assure that necessary measures would be taken in Jammu as well so that Jammu city is also relieved of the traffic chaos.
The counsel was directed to apprise the court about the preparedness of the officers to deal with the issue in Jammu city besides the implementation of the directions passed by the court for Kashmir division.
In this regard, the court directed the counsel to file his report by or before the next date of hearing.
In another issue of imposing a complete ban on the 15 to 25 year old commercial vehicles, the respondents submitted before the court that J&K government had launched a scheme, ‘Transport Subsidy Scheme for Replacement of 15 year old vehicles (Buses and Mini Buses)’.
As per the scheme, the owner of the bus or mini bus who is willing to replace his 15 years old vehicle could avail the benefit of Rs 5 lakh subsidy.
The authorities submitted that so far 71 such owners had applied under the scheme.
The respondents further submitted that the government would introduce e-rickshaws for operation in Srinagar and Jammu cities.
The court after going through the submissions directed the respondents to file the details of the 71 owners with the date of application filed under the scheme.
The respondents were further directed to implement the scheme on the ground by giving a wide publicity in print and electronic media so that people come to know about it and avail the benefit.
The court also directed the respondents to file a compliance report indicating there in details as to what steps had been taken and what was status of introducing e-rickshaws in Srinagar and Jammu cities.
The Inspector General of Police, Traffic, J&K was also directed to indicate in his report the hiccups his department was facing in regulating the free flow of traffic in Jammu Kashmir.
“The report must also include his suggestions that he feels should be adopted toward resolving the traffic mismanagement,” the court directed.
The court listed the matter for March 10.